It had always been Kory Mosher’s goal to train to become an Olympic wrestler, which is why he chose to come to the University of North Dakota in 1985.
Mosher knew UND would offer him a chance to pursue his dream, but what he didn’t foresee was that he’d become a two-time National Wrestling Champion (a first for UND), that he’d end up with a season-ending injury his senior year in college, nor did he think he’d be inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame some twenty-odd years later.
On April 27, the Fertile-Beltrami native will be inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame in Benson, Minn.
“It’s very, very humbling,” Mosher said. “I never would’ve dreamt that I’d be amongst some of the greatest wrestlers in Minnesota history. It’s so surreal, and I’m extremely honored.”
High school standout
Mosher was a 1985 graduate of Fertile-Beltrami High School. While in high school, he was a three-sport athlete, lettering in football, wrestling, and track. Mosher was one of the toughest wrestlers in the state in the mid-1980s. Fertile-Beltrami was regarded as the “team to beat” in the northern part of the state back then, and Mosher was one of the main reasons why.
Mosher was on the varsity team in seventh grade, he was a six-time Region 8 place winner, and he was a state entrant four times, placing fourth and third his junior and senior years. Mosher’s record was 165-27-3 and he was on pace to break Steve Carr’s seemingly untouchable record of 175 wins, but a severe bout with mononucleosis cost him three weeks of wrestling during his eighth-grade season.
Mosher was a multiple Minnesota State Champion as a youth and Federation National Champion in grade school and represented Minnesota at the Nationals in Freestyle and Greco-Roman throughout high school. He was also a 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival Silver Medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling.
When Mosher began looking at colleges, he knew two things were certain: he was looking for a school to first and foremost get an education, and then it was to wrestle.
“Brad Kerr, UND’s head coach at the time, recruited me and was very adamant about the student athlete versus just the athlete,” Mosher said. “That really struck me, and I was immediately drawn in.”
Mosher’s plan was to wrestle at UND for two years, then transfer to a school with a Division I wrestling program. His plans were quickly changed when he realized the sense of camaraderie UND had towards its students and student-athletes.
“I had my mind made up to transfer colleges after a couple years at UND,” Mosher said. “I wasn’t prepared for the impact the University would ultimately have on me. Everyone cared for you; the coaches and the professors all took an interest in you as a person, both academically and as an athlete. I knew I wanted to stay here.”
UND has an impact
Jeff Schumacher, UND’s assistant wrestling coach, was very instrumental in Mosher’s collegiate career and his winning two national championships.
“Jeff is a highly respected wrestler - both at UND and internationally - and what he brought to me was priceless,” Mosher said. “He pushed me beyond my limits and expectations.”
In Mosher’s freshman year at UND he qualified for the U.S. National Sports festival by winning the 163-pound title in the Central Regional Greco-Roman Tournament at Chicago and then competed in the 1986 US Olympic Festival in Houston, Texas, where he earned the Silver Medal.
As a sophomore, Mosher became the first UND National Wrestling Champion when he defeated Lloyd Hygelund of Portland State 12-11 in the Division II Nationals at Southern Illinois University.
By his junior year, Mosher was ranked number one in the country by the only recognized ranking organization, the Amateur Wrestling News. That was the first time in history UND had achieved that ranking. That year he won his second national wrestling championship in the 158-pound division.
Mosher’s senior year looked promising until he blew out his knee, which would ultimately end his wrestling career.
Mosher was inducted into the UND Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. He posted a college record of 117 wins, 30 losses, and 2 ties, and he was named to the North Central Conference All-Time Wrestling Team.
Mosher graduated from UND with a degree in marketing and has pursued a career as a sales representative for Midmark Corporation.
“If it weren’t for Don Speare, a past assistant wrestling coach at UND, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today,” Mosher said. “He mentored me along the way and really focused me.”
Mosher resides in Prior Lake, Minn., with his wife and three children and is actively involved in his son’s youth wrestling program.
“You try to pay it forward,” Mosher said. “I had a lot of great coaches in my career and I know the importance of having a good coach. Talent and ability will only get you so far, the rest lies in your coach’s hands.”
Even though he’s out of the Grand Forks region, Mosher still follows UND Athletics closely.
“I’m constantly on UND’s athletic website,” Mosher said. “And I try to get back for as many football and hockey games as I can.”
As for his former teammates, he still keeps in close contact with them as well.
“Some of my best friends were found in the wrestling room,” Mosher said. “I’m still great friends with a lot of them and we vacation and go hunting with each other. There’s a tight bond between us that we can’t put into words. It’s just there and it will always be.”